Birthdays every four years
Igor Ivanovich Nikitin is one of the best in weightlifting history, however not only his achievements made him an outstanding personality of the sport. The Russian champion is the only Olympic Silver medallist who can celebrate his birthday only in every four years. With that said, he born exactly 65 years ago, in a leap year on February 29th. Today is the last day of the month but 2017 is not a leap year; therefore Nikitin officially cannot celebrate his birthday this year. We still would like to wish him a very Happy Birthday!!
He started to practise weightlifting at the age of 18 after his official military service in the Soviet army in 1970. He became a member of the weightlifting team in 1977 and after winning the Silver Medal at the European Championships in 1978, he won the Olympic and World Championships Silver medals as well.
In his own bodyweight category he set 5 world records (three in snatch, two in total) till his 1984 retirement year. Between 1994 and 1998 he was the coach for the Russian Team and leaded the team to the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games. Out of the team two athletes, Aleksey Petrov (91kg bodyweight category) and Andrey Chemerkin (+108kg bodyweight category) became Olympic Champions.